1140 GMT April 03, 2020
“Today, voting is not only a revolutionary and national responsibility, but it is also a religious duty,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader has supported the Guardian Council, a top body that vets candidates, saying Parliament is no place for those scared of speaking out against foreign enemies.
“Elections are a means to strengthen the country ... A weak Parliament will have long-term effects ... a weak Parliament will negatively affect our fight against enemies,” he said.
The Leader called elections a contributor to the strength of the country and said the US formed think tanks of dozens or hundreds of people to plan to alienate the Iranian people and the youth in particular from the government.
"Elections nullify many of the vicious plots the Americans have in their minds and Zionists have in their hearts against the country," he said, referring to US ally Israel.
“The vote is the Islamic Republic’s prestige.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said the elections would show that Iran's enemies had failed to divide the nation.
"Watch how the people favor the elections despite the enemies' insistence on distancing the people from the system," the Leader said.
Iranians are set to elect a new Parliament on Friday, with conservatives expected to make a resurgence.
The Guardian Council, made up of six clerics appointed by the Leader and six lawyers selected by the Judiciary, disqualified around half of the 14,500 hopefuls who signed up for the polls on various grounds.
Campaigning will end on Thursday, on the eve of the vote, for which 58 million Iranians are eligible to vote out of a population of 83 million.
Ayatollah Khamenei said friends and foes alike were watching the elections.
“Enemies want to know what all of their attempts, the economic difficulties that exist in the country, the perfidy of the Westerners and the Europeans (in the Iran deal matter) toward Iran, and all the pressures — the maximum pressure, as they call it themselves — have finally done to the Iranian people,” the Leader said. “Our friends all over the world, too, are watching with concern to see what happens.”
‘First-class idiots going all out speaking gibberish again’
Ayatollah Khamenei said the “first-class idiots in the US are once again lining up to say some nonsense about” Iran.
“Partially, what they say is to affect the [turnout in the] elections... to make people despair of the ballot box,” the Leader said.
‘Iran a thousand times stronger’
Ayatollah Khamenei said the US did all in its power — in military, political, security, economic, cultural, and media terms — over the past 40 years to topple the Iranian establishment. Not only did they fail in those attempts, the Leader said, but also saw the Iranian establishment grow “a thousand times” stronger.
He said the US was the most indebted country in the world — with 22 trillion dollars in national debt — and was merely making itself up to look good.
‘America will sink’
Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to the story of the British giant passenger ship RMS Titanic, which sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1912, and said, “Just as the splendor of the famous ship Titanic did not stop it from sinking, attempts to make up America’s appearance does not stop it from sinking, either, and America will sink.”
The Leader said Iran was opposed to no nation or race but only to arrogance and tyranny.
“America has dozens of [military] bases in the countries around ours, but if something happens one day, these bases will be of use neither to America nor to those who give their money to it... because American arrogance is collapsing.”
Press TV, Reuters and AFP contributed to this story.